Prosecutors say Jan. 6 defendant violated travel conditions by attending CPAC
A man charged with participating in the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol violated the terms of his court-approved travel conditions to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference, according to federal prosecutors.
Gabriel Garcia sought permission from the court to travel to Washington, DC, from Florida to observe the January 6 trials for the Proud Boys and another January 6 defendant. Garcia also said the purpose of his travel was to consult his counsel pending his own trial, according to court documents.
But prosecutors said in a court filing that Garcia attended one trial for a few hours on March 3 before spending the rest of his day at CPAC in Maryland.
“The government is surprised by defendant’s whereabouts on his recent trip,” prosecutors said.
Garcia, a former Army captain and alleged Proud Boy extremist, ran for the Florida House of Representatives in 2020 and lost in the Republican primary. As a condition of his release from jail pending trial, he cannot travel outside the south Florida without permission.
On January 6, prosecutors allege that Garcia livestreamed video on Facebook and verbally showed aggression toward US Capitol Police officers. He is facing six charges, including two felonies. He has pleaded not guilty.
The court filing includes social media posts with photos of Garcia socializing at CPAC with other January 6 defendants. The defense said attending CPAC did not violate the defendant’s conditions, but the government said attending CPAC was not on his “precise itinerary.”
Prosecutors said that this is not the first time Garcia has taken advantage of the court with “deceptive travel requests.”
“The issue is not that defendant attended a political event. The real problem is that defendant has repeatedly that his representations to the Court be doubted,” prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said they intend to oppose further travel requests from Garcia. A judge still must rule on the matter.
Garcia’s trial is set for August.